How to check and monitor your hard drive’s health

Of all the PC components, few require more care and attention than a hard drive. We’ve all heard the admonishments to defragment drives, and clean up junk files to keep all our 1s and 0s sparkling. No matter how well you care for it, however, at some point that drive is going to fail. Sometimes you can hear it coming, sometimes it happens suddenly in the middle of a project, and other times it just refuses to boot one morning.

Whatever way your hard drive meets its end, it’s a certainty you’ll see it happen if you use a PC long enough. Hard drives are complicated little devices. The primary components are the magnetic platters that contain the data, as well as the head that reads and writes the data.

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